Who is eligible

Who is eligible for Council Tax Reduction?

If you are liable to pay Council Tax and are on a low income, you may be entitled to help with paying your Council Tax bill.  You can claim Council Tax Reduction even if you own your own home.

If your income, savings and investments are too high to qualify for Council Tax Reduction, you may be able to claim second adult rebate. If you have an adult living with you and you do not receive a Council Tax discount for that adult (see Council Tax Discounts ) you may be able to receive a rebate on your Council Tax bill if the other adult is on a low income. The other adult must not be paying a commercial rent to you. You will not usually qualify if you have a partner. The amount of Second Adult Rebate you could receive is:-

Second Adult’s Income

% the Council Tax Bill is reduced by

Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance (Income Based), Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based) or Pension Credit

25%

Gross income is less than £193.00 per week

15%

Gross income is between £193.00 and £250.00 per week

7.5%

 

Council Tax Reduction is available to single people, families, couples, working people, retired people, the unemployed and anyone on a low income.

The rules are very complex and a low income can be difficult to define. If you would like more advice on whether you are entitled to this benefit please contact the Benefits team (see contacts section of this page), or call in to the council offices.

Who is eligible for housing benefit

If you rent your accommodation from another person or a housing association and are on a low income, you may be entitled to help with paying your rent.

You can claim housing benefit if you are working or claiming benefits. You do not have to be unemployed - you could just be earning a low wage.

Housing benefit is available to single people, families, couples, working people, retired people, the unemployed and anyone on a low income. You may be entitled to housing benefit whether you live in a house, flat, shared house or a room in a landlord's home.

You will not be entitled to Housing Benefit if your tenancy is:-

  • Not on a commercial basis.
  • You pay rent to a close relative (parent, parent-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, step parent, step son, step daughter, brother, sister) and live in the same property.
  • You, or your partner, pay rent to your former partner and you and your former partner used to live in the property you are now renting.
  • You, or your partner, pay rent to someone who is the parent of your child.
  • Your tenancy is longer than 21 years.
  • You live in tied accommodation i.e. your living in the property is a condition of your employment.
  • You previously owned the property you are renting within the last five years, unless you could not continue to live in the property without giving up ownership.
  • You are wholly maintained by a religious order.
  • You are in residential accommodation i.e. care home or an independent hospital.
  • Certain trustees and company directors who rent from a trust or company, unless you can satisfy the council the liability was not taken out to take advantage of the Housing Benefit scheme.

The rules are very complex and a low income can be difficult to define. If you would like more advice on whether you are entitled to benefits, please contact the Benefits team (see contacts section of this page), or call in to the council’s offices.

How much housing benefit will I receive?

This depends on your rent, your personal circumstances, your family details and your income and savings. Therefore your housing benefit may not cover all your rent and you may have to make up the difference. Housing benefit will not cover charges for water rates, heating or hot water, even if they are included in your rent. Most single people under the age of 35 can only get housing benefit to cover the cost of a single room in a shared house or lodging with a resident landlord.

Some private landlords are reluctant to take people who are claiming housing benefit in case there are problems with your claim and therefore the rent.  If your landlord has concerns about you claiming housing benefit, the Housing Advice Team are happy to explain the housing benefit process to a Landlord.

Before signing a tenancy and moving in, you should check which rent figure will be used by the Council to work out your Housing Benefit. You can check this rate on the Local Housing Allowance website  This link will take you to an external website... . Remember that when your Housing Benefit is worked out, it will take account of your income and other circumstances.

Last reviewed: 16 - 03 - 2016

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